If you already claim Tax Credits, you’ll be sent a renewal pack through the post between April and July which tells you how to renew your Tax Credits.
From 6th April onwards, HMRC send out a pack to anyone who has had a Tax Credit award in the tax year which has just ended. It’s really important to look carefully at the information you receive. Even if you have stopped getting Tax Credits, you still need to check that all your details are correct and respond if required to do so.
‘Reply now’ pack
You may get a pack which has a red line across the first page and says ‘reply now’, in which case you will need to submit your information to renew your Tax Credits (i.e. a reply is required). You must renew your Tax Credits by the date shown on your renewal pack. For most people the date is 31st July. If your pack says ‘reply now’, then you must respond.
‘Check now’ pack
Alternatively, you may get a pack which has a black line across the first page and says ‘check now’, in which case you will need to check your details are correct (i.e. auto renewal). If your pack only asks you to check, you don’t need to respond unless any of the details are wrong. If your details are correct, you do not need to do anything, and your Tax Credits will be automatically renewed. It’s still important to check it carefully and let HMRC know if anything is incorrect or has changed. See here if there have been any changes to your circumstances.
If you don’t receive your pack by late May/early June you should get in touch with the Tax Credits helpline to make sure they have your correct address.
If you need to respond and you don’t renew by the 31st July deadline, your payments may eventually stop (HMRC should write to you again before this happens) and you risk being overpaid. You would then have to pay back the Tax Credits you’ve received since 6th April.
You can renew your claim in three different ways:
- By filling out your information using the online renewal service by going online to HMRC’s manage your tax credits service. You can use this service if you have changes or corrections to report or you have been told you must reply. You’ll need a Government Gateway ID and password (you can create this if you’re using the service for the first time), be able to prove your identity, and have access to your National Insurance number and the online reference number from your renewal pack.
- By filling out your forms and sending them back to HMRC in the post.
- By renewing over the phone by calling the Tax Credits helpline on 0345 300 3900 (0345 300 3909 textphone). The helpline gets very busy in the run up to the 31st July deadline so you should do this as soon as possible after receiving your pack.
You’ll need the following information to renew your tax credits, so it’s a good idea to have it to hand before you get started:
- Your National Insurance number
- Details about any changes to your circumstances – e.g., if your salary has changed
- The 15-digit reference number on your renewal pack
- Your total income for the last tax year. If you’re applying for tax credits as a couple, you’ll also need to provide how much your partner earned, too.
Once you’ve renewed, the Tax Credit office will be in touch to let you know how much you’ll be paid in Tax Credits next year – this should be within eight weeks of receiving your renewal. For more information on how to renew your Tax Credits, go to GOV.UK. Low Incomes Tax Reform Group also have very detailed information about the process.
If you have had to claim Universal Credit and you were previously getting Tax Credits, you may have to finalise your Tax Credit award before the end of the tax year. HMRC will write to you if you need to do this.